‘Amb. Augustine Weah Solicited Bribe in Burkina-Faso’

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Duannah Siryon, the suspended Managing Director, National Housing Authority

— Defense witness Siryon testifies

In continuation of his testimony in the ongoing trial over an alleged bribery scandal at the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Monrovia, the suspended NHA managing director Dunnah Siryon on Tuesday, October 29, told Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice that Co-defendant Ambassador Augustine Weah (at-large) solicited a bribe on behalf of key government officials, which included President George Weah, in exchange for granting the 50,000 housing units project to GELPAZ-IMMO, a Burkina Faso-owned company.

Further in his testimony, Dunnah Siryon, who is the third defense witness, claimed that he was informed about the bribery scheme when a Burkinabe named Benao Bazonon, widely known as BAZ, gave him the information through a text message from Burkina-FaSo following a meeting between the company’s executives and Amb. Weah, who was then in Burkina-Faso.

GELPAZ-IMMO’s executives had been in the country to sign the pilot project for the construction of 500 units of the 50,000 housing units along the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Highway. But the government is prosecuting Siryon, together with his two deputies Isaac Roberts, NHA Deputy Director for Technical Services and Tugbeh C. Tugbeh, deputy manager for administration, and Amb. Weah, for soliciting US$92,000 as bribe for the company to win the project.

Amb. Weah, who is believed to be the chief executive officer of Guss Group of Companies, is yet to be brought under the jurisdiction of the court to stand trial.

According to Siryon, in one of the text messages at the meeting, Amb. Weah allegedly proposed to GELPAZ-IMMO’s officials that President George Weah had asked him to prevail on the company in order to give the President a share of US$400,000 before the project could be approved.

“US$100,000 was allotted for Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean; US$20,000 for Finance Minister Samuel Tweah; Minister of State for Presidential Affair Nathaniel McGill was to receive US$20,000, while the NHA was to pocket US$100,000,” Siryon said, explaining to the court about the alleged plan to distribute the money in accordance with Amb. Weah’s bribe distribution plan.

Siryon informed the court that after he received the text messages from BAZ about Amb. Weah’s soliciting bribe on behalf of President Weah and his senior cabinet ministers, he immediately took the text messages to Minister McGill.

Siryon claimed that after he showed McGill the text messages, the minister, without any hesitation, sent a phone call to GELPAZ-IMMO’s executives, dissociating the office of the President as well as other senior officials, of Amb. Weah’s bribe solicitation.

After meeting with McGill, Siryon also alleged that he confronted Amb. Weah by reading BAZ’s text messages to him, claiming,” I showed Amb. Weah my phone with the text messages, and asked him why he went to Burkina-FaSo to discuss those amount when he was not authorized to do so.”

Siryon continued, “I read the messages verbatim to Augustine Weah, and later showed them to him; and that prompted a serious argument at my office.”

Siryon also claimed that the incident happened on November 21, 2018.

“But, the next day, which was November 22, President Weah invited us (Siryon and Augustine Weah) to his offices at the Foreign Ministry, where we held a discussion about the text messages,” Siryon told the court.

Siryon informed the court that at the meeting, he told President Weah about what had transpired between him and Augustine Weah, and President Weah confiscated their phones which contained the text messages.

“Our phones were confiscated for further investigation; but not having my phone, it was when I began to hear that there was a recording that involved me accusing Augustine Weah of receiving US$400,000 on behalf of President Weah,” Siryon explained.

He added, “At no point did I say Augustine Weah received US$400,000 on behalf of President Weah or US$100,000 for the NHA. It was a message that I was reading, and my exact wording was I received no US$80,000 from GELPAZ-IMMO.”

The case continues.

6 COMMENTS

  1. These are just few of the bad leaderships abilities the Liberians are discussing on social. Why get involved to contract building houses to foreign company when Liberians are just capable of doing the job that could create jobs for local Liberians in the construction area on the long term basis. This shows how badly they really intended to screw the Liberian people in every way to imagine. I supposed that was the friendship that landed our president the private jet in exchange of the construction project to be awarded to his Burkina bay friend, not taking into consideration the impact this will have on the Liberian economic. Why bring in foreigners to do construction work in Liberia when Liberians are just qualified to do the Same jobs?

  2. the suspended NHA managing director Dunnah Siryon on Tuesday, will payfor his stupidity!! Dunnah Siryon accused Ambassador Augustine Weah (at-large) solicited a bribe on behalf of key government officials, which included President George Weah, in exchange for granting the 50,000 housing units project to GELPAZ-IMMO, a Burkina Faso-owned company. After accusing them, Dunnah Siryon goes to President Weah with Ambassador Augustine Weah with the ONLY evidence. Of course, they’ll take it from you STUPID!! You are LUCKY you are still ALIVE!! Be careful my people so as NOT to fall into traps, trickery!

    Now, Dunnah Siryon , it’s “your word” against “their word” in a Liberian court system! Stop spending yur money with lawyers and bribes my friend. You are going to Lose in the end, Mr. STUPID!!!

  3. Why is Harry Greaves “unlucky” to be dead? If I were him I would not go to the culprits. I would use social media,the press, some international medium. One has to be careful and prudent NOT to get killed mysteriously like my cousin Harry Greaves & many others.

  4. Political killings have been part of Liberia from its inception. Sometimes. people are falsely accused and to prison. Sometimes, there are accidents, like Mr. Innis from the central bank, sometimes deaths like Harr Greaves. Sometimes, political rivals like Ben Freeman who was to be President Tubman’s vice president dies jand William R. Tolbert instead becomes Vice President incidentally he met the same fate that was imposed on Ben Freeman. Unfortunately, most Liberian (african) have blood on their hands. We generally have poor
    Investigation because the courts are tied to the executive in “practice”. We have poor forensics capabilities to utilize independently of the courts and police. Since the majority of the people in most Africancountries are illiterates ( surviving for bear minimum); there are no sustain or long lasting outcries for injustice. Topped with fact, the opposition parties have hidden agendas for their own greed.

  5. Most Liberian leaders o meant NOT “most Liberians” ( that was an error) Most Liberian leaders have blood on their hands. Thay goes for most of African because of high illiteracy thus no accountability to the people. Illiterate people are generally poor and focus on daily survival, most are disinterested or unable to spend the time to engage in social justice for a sustain period of time due to survival issues

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